When I was 12 years old, my mother took me to my first real concert. It was Metallica and Fight! (featuring Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford) and Suicidal Tendencies. I still remember that night and so when my daughter asked to go to the modern-day version of that kind of Rock show – Fallout Boy and Paramore – I had to acquiesce.
Still, a first concert can be a harrowing and stressful event for parents. Here are some tips for making the experience a fantastic memory for you and your child.
Be Prepared For Partying
While you may be hoping for a family-friendly first concert, there’s going to be booze and probably the lingering smell of pot in the air. Most likely your kids won’t even notice, it can provide a way to discuss how to avoid drugs and alcohol with them, a topic tough to bring up on your own.
Your kids will likely want to bring a friend or two, but you should as well. This allows multiple sets of responsible adult eyes on the kids, which allows them a modicum of freedom without taking too many chances. Bonus points if it’s an adult friend (or mature, older relative) that your kids think is “cool.”
Save Some Money and Their Eardrums
Purchase tickets that put you and your kids in the rear of the venue. This has the triple benefit of being cheaper, less dangerous for your kids’ hearing, and will put you closer to the exits at the end of the performance. Your kids won’t worry about the “bad” seats, because they will be excited simply to be there.
Plan It Like A Vacation
Running late or being impatient (in traffic, in line to get in to the venue, etc.) can be a sure fire way to cast a dark shadow over the whole experience. Bring snacks and give the kids ample access to bathrooms. Wile away the time in traffic by either letting them enjoy the radio or forcing them to listen your favorite songs.
Remember To Enjoy Yourself
When I went to my first concert, my mother knew nothing about Metallica. The same was true for me with Paramore and Fallout Boy. However, in both cases, the show won us over and we became fans. Bonding with your kids over their favorite art is a great way to deepen your relationship with your teens and pre-teens, at a time when they may be pulling away.
Have you taken your kids to a concert yet? What was it like? Tell us in the comments below.